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, February 01, 2007

The One-In-Three Rule

The One-In-Three Rule: If John and Scarlet have three cars, only one car will work at any given time.

Arkansas got hit with snow, sleet, and freezing rain yesterday. Unfortunately, it hit about 12 hours earlier than predicted. That means that I got caught out on the road eight miles east of Atkins on my way home from work. This would also be the same time that I lost 1st gear on the Saturn. I was probably the last person for the next few days to make it up the double hairpin road from Atkins to the top of Crow Mountain. I don't think I would of made it without grinding the stick down into the mostly broken 2nd gear. It wasn't pretty.

I made it to the Devil Queen just as the last sunlight faded over the horizon. I left two faucets dripping, fed the cat, made a phone call, packed, and left in under twenty minutes. I took my wife's VW Beetle because it was the least crapped-up car of the two from which I had to pick. I drove west across Crow Mountain to Russellville because it is the only way off the mountain in the snow & ice if dumbasses in Jeep Cherokees aren't blocking the way. Then, I got on the freeway going east to Little Rock.

Two hours later, the Beetle died in a traffic jamb just like it had done to Scarlet the week before. This would also be why I have an appointment scheduled at the VW dealership tomorrow. I waited for ten minutes and tried starting it again. Mercifully, it did start. The traffic cleared, and I made it to my Dad's house before 9PM.

And, I'm abashed to admit that I've never been so happy to see a McMansion in my life. It was warm, clean, and totally devoid of construction debris. And, I had a gloriously hot shower for the first time in weeks (that is another story). I would like to thank Chris for giving me the strength to make this confession. If he can admit his conditional love for IKEA, I can admit that under certain circumstances I'll glad cast aside my deep held belief in aesthetics, quality craftsmanship, and the intrinsic value of old homes for a hot shower and a warm bed.

And, on the upside, Scarlet has the only working car, so hopefully I won't have to worry about her getting stranded somewhere. That's my job now.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Leslie said...

Only a hard-core house renovator with otherwise excellent grammar and spelling skills would instinctively write about a "traffic jamb". ::grin::

And yes. There are unquestionably times when there is absolutely no substitute for flush toilets, hot water, and the ability to move about the house without being draped in clothing worthy of scaling Mt. Everest.

2:18 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Jeez, you make one sweeping generalisation about a furniture store, then reveal yourself as a huge hypocrite by shopping at said store, and noone lets you live it down. I ask you. I hope Gary gives it to you good about this - I like new homes and I cannot lie, You other brothers can't deny - or something like that.

Reminds me of the kiwi philanthropist who said, "I've donated thousands of dollars to charity, built 3 schools and an orphanage, and adopted 4 disadvantaged kids in my life. But no, you shag one sheep..."

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Joyce C. said...

On paint scrapers. Try a boat supply store. No one scrapes paint as often or as thoroughly as a wood-boat owner. Believe me, I know.

9:06 AM  
Blogger John said...

Leslie, so true. Freudian slip I guess. You know what is on my mind these days.

Chris, I'm (sort of) sorry, but I just can't resist beating a dead when I have a chance.

Joyce, thanks for the tip. I'll have to look on line for that. There are not too many wood boats of any sort around here.

9:44 AM  
Blogger My Marrakech said...

One day when I am really, really rich, I am going to buy a brand NEW car. It sounds incredibly decadent but I swear, it's going to happen...one day...

12:29 PM  

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