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, June 13, 2007

Post-Appraisal Honeymoon Ends

I won't lie to you. I am almost sorry that this post has been so long in coming, but the delay was well worth it for me.

Now, before I go too far, I would like to mention for April's benefit that I have been thinking about your old home inspection check list. I have not forgotten you. It seems simple enough, but, once you start the list, it just keeps going. And that is just the list, restoring an old home is even worse.

So, since the appraisal two weeks ago, what have we been doing on the Devil Queen? Absolutely nothing. And there has been no signs of withdrawal or guilt to date. And, I've been catching up on my sleep. Getting by on only 4 to 5 hours a night for a few months really wears on you. It makes you psychotic, not in a good way.

Sleeping 6 to 7 hours is fabulous. It definately improves my attitude. According to my wife, I'm a lot less evil. Pleasant even if you could believe that. I think she believes an alien abduction may have occured.

After years of anticipation and struggle, my wife and I finally took sailing lessons. We've been dreaming about this for years, and it is like we're resuming our life where we left off before we bought the Devil Queen. It's like being reborn as a bitter, older version of yourself who's plagued with regrets and an unresolved passion for fine architecture, old homes, and residential construction. Really, I think it is a good thing.

In case any of you are wondering, sailing was great. I love it. If we can get enough practice in and get our finances straightened out over the next year or so, we'd love to get a small beginners boat of our own. The only thing that marred our sailing experience was Gideon coming down with a stomach bug in the early hours of Sunday morning. Let me tell you, you haven't experienced the joys of parenthood until you've waken up to the sound of your child throwing up all over your bed.

In any case, I plan to take Chris' lead and spend more time out on the water starting today.

Speaking of beginnings and rebirths, I've started a little side project here. I've been meaning to do this for months, but life has been getting in my way until now. The posts will probably be a bit spotty, but at least it's a start.

Rest assured that I haven't completely degenerated into a lazy, decedent sod which is quite unfortunate. I think I'd be rather good at it, a natural even. Instead, I've been playing catch-up. For nearly every project we completed on the Devil Queen, there was at least one chore being neglected. So, the corollary that developed was that as the Devil Queen became less decrepit, everything else in our life began disintegrating at an ever increasing pace.

So, now it is official: my post-appraisal honeymoon is officially coming to an end. Partly it's because we actually want the house completely finished (narrow minded of us I know), and partly it's because things are starting to bug me after only two weeks.

What's first on my list? The gaps between the single pane glass and the sash were the old glazing has crumbled away on four windows. Really, most of the window glazing is in need of attention, but I'm seriously disturbed by the fact that the Olsen twins could conceivably fit through the gap. I figure we'll be turning the AC on in a couple of weeks, so the sooner I get this finished the better.

Who knows, maybe I'll even start posting more too?



Anonymous Kathy from NJ said...

I couldn't post this on your new site (no Google acct).

My next-door neighbor's sister published her father's letters to her mother. I bought the book, There'll Come a Day, and it was really interesting to read about WW2 from an insider. I will be happy to give you the book if you want it, let me know.
RBottoni at optonline dot net

My father was in Africa and Italy during the war, he often told how they sold their sheets to the Arabs, then drove away in the truck with the sheets intact. As teen-agers my sister and I found my father's love letters to my mother and of course read them. It was shocking to realize that they were in love and very human. The letters were found again about a year ago and we didn't read them again, it seemed like an invasion of privacy.

3:36 PM  
Blogger EGE said...

"I'm seriously disturbed by the fact that the Olsen twins could conceivably fit through the gap."

I think you meant to say: "two atomic wedgies."

Congratulations, relax, have fun!

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Julia said...

Very interesting new project John, I'll definitely be reading. This subject is quite interesting to me.

BTW if you happen to have any home burglaries until you fix your window issues, then at least you'll know it was the Olsen twins.

Kathy - I have a box of old letters from my grandparents during the war. How interesting about publishing a book... {hmmm}

12:16 PM  
Blogger EGE said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:08 AM  
Blogger EGE said...

Whoops! I was trying to post a link to an article I thought you'd get a kick out of, but the link wouldn't work so I deleted my comment. I didn't know it was going to stay there in spirit making me look crazy! So the article is about Harvard U moving a couple houses a couple miles this weekend -- if you go to goodle and search for "Harvard moves house" you'll find it.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous April said...

Thanks for remembering me! I'm glad the two of you got some R&R in. You know what they say 'All work and no play........."

7:39 PM  
Blogger Maryam in Marrakesh said... lovely...
Sleep...what a concept. Yes, I must try that sleep thing.

So glad you and Scarlet are well.

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