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, October 11, 2007

Season of Slaughter

It's fall yet again, and everything wants to come into the house. I went to Lowe's last night, and, on my way out, I noticed our cat was having a grand time playing with a maimed rat. This rat is the second one he's caught this season. I hope he's killing them all before they find a way into the Devil Queen.

Aside from rodents, we have an on-going wasp problem. There is a gap between where the eve of the master bathroom meets the Devil Queen's main roof. A colony of red wasps has established itself in this crack. When I say "in" mean to say they seem to be pulling tufts of blown insulation out of the crack to make room for their ever-growing nest. I can't begin to tell you how much poison I've sprayed into this hole. I think I've used at least ten cans so far, and, though their numbers are diminished, they are still there.

[The picture is horrible. The specks all over the roof are dead wasps. I lost count after around 40. The brightest yellow area of the eve is roughly where the gap is]

The last round of poison must have been pretty bad. Since I'd slathered the gap with foaming poison, they were driven to find a back-way out to escape sticky-white-death. The poison must be stout, they were desperate. Unfortunately for me, their escape route was through this crack in the master bathroom ceiling.

Nothing like going to take an early morning piss and noticing - mid-stream - that the weird droning was a flight of angry, semi-poison wasp circling the chandelier. Thank God for the cathedral ceiling. Or, thank Scarlet since it was her idea.

So, driven by fear, shifting priorities, the inability to escape linear time, and laziness, the master bathroom has been sealed up for about three or four weeks. Last night, I went in to survey the situation.

I fell like I'm collecting evidence for a war crimes tribunal. There are bodies everywhere, over twenty to be sure. Apparently, the wasps would pull themselves out of the crack and circle aimlessly until they succumbed to the poison or starvation.

Since it was nearly midnight at this point, I decided to set everything up but leave the actual caulking for tonight. Hopefully, I'll finish before Ms. Scarlet makes it home from work.

On the upside, I did finish painting the last four shelves of the living room built-in last night.

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Anonymous Patricia W. said...

The wasp problem isn't funny, but your telling of the story is hilarious! :D I'm extremely allergic to stinging flying bee-type bugs and just looking at your pictures made me wince. Once the cold settles in I'd be up at that crack with some "Great Stuff" to make sure they have no way to further their colonizing. Then I'd get a tube of caulk for the bathroom ceiling. And if at all possible, go into the attic, find the nest and remove it. What a nightmare, season of slaughter is right.

2:21 PM  
Blogger EGE said...

I'm allergic to wasps, too, but they still freak me out less than those OTHER things. YOU know what I mean...

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Brenda from Flatbush said...

Rats and wasps, oh my! Our most recent infestations (or as I think of them, "Biblical plagues") are squirrels and centipedes, I think I may prefer them to yours...

1:59 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Is it wrong that when I read this post my first thought was "Ooh, nice floors, and look at the base of that toilet"? I feel for you in your waspy pain, but can't help the jealousy that comes out in me when I admire how nice your bathroom looks.

5:45 PM  
Blogger John said...


You read my mind. Once it's too cold for the SOB's to move around much, that is exactly what I plan to do.


And, I do KNOW.


Yeah, definately biblical, you know, the whole bitting and stinging things, revelations, etc. Who knew home ownership = apocolypse?


Ye of the "I see window treatments" clan, there is no shame in your affliction. Really, after so much "home improvement," your perception of reality changes forever, not unlike a serious acid trip.

And, don't be too jealous of the floor, I suspect that your kitchen floor will look even better.

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