The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

My Photo
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!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Spring Forward?

I don't know if I can actually count this as progress on the house, but I finally ordered some spring-bronze from Kilian Hardware (recommended by Stucco House). What I find myself wondering is why I didn't order some of this in November instead of getting vigorously violated by the electric company for the entire winter? Contrary to everything I've believed up to this point in my life, I guess I just like it in the ass.

Now, if no one gets violently ill in the next 48 hours, we might get to take advantage of the beautiful weather they've forecasted for the weekend and work on some house projects. A wild idea, I know.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

St. Joseph Is My Real Estate Agent

This is a, "Saint Joseph Home Selling Kit," that is for sale on eBay.

Now, that's what I'm talking about. Why depend on hard work, market appeal, and advertising when you can use voodoo?

Anyone ever tried one of these babies? If so, did it work?


The Joys of Pears and Crack-whores

Mothers, don't let your boys grow-up to marry crack-whores.

As the part of the woe that is our syphilitic existence, the fellow we had lined up to buy our little blue rent house backed out of the deal at the last minute. To say that we are disappointed is an understatement. We still haven't figured out what exactly happened, but is seems that tattooed chain-smoker he recently married has some addiction issues. I imagine that really eats into your money for the closing costs and your interest in becoming a home owner.

Really, we shouldn't be too surprised. The last fellow we had contracted to buy the great blue blight died a week before closing.

At any rate, instead of turning to whiskey, easy women, and heroin, I've been spending a lot of time painting. I've finished a pretty good run of still-life sketches and have some big paintings in the works again. If you are interested, click here and take a look. Any proceeds earned will go to paying someone to finish the Devil Queen. That's a good cause, right?

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Post Secret

Don't read too much into this. I saw it on Post Secret this week and though that some of you long suffering home owners might find it just as amusing. I know it's awfully black humor. It's certainly something to consider if you're thinking about buying/building/restoring a home.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

We Are Home Improvement Syphilis

Just in case you are wondering, it could always be worse. You could be us.

On a related theme, I just discovered that yet another one of my favorite Housebloggers has moved on to greener pastures, and, to be honest, I’m just more than a little jealous although I can’t advocate moving to Syracuse.

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Our Family: A CDC Case Study

The ark of despair, which carries the ailing wreck that is our family, is well on its way to the end of the world. Okay, it really isn’t that bad (is it?), but we had another weekend of illness and inactivity. Gideon had a random fever Friday which vanished by Saturday afternoon and Scarlet came down with a freak infection/virus which made a lymph in her neck swell to disturbing proportions. Both are better than the vomit-plague of two weeks ago, but we’re sick and tired of being sick and tired all the time.

I’m being to suspect we’re test subjects for a CDC study on infectious diseases.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Family Affair

My little sister has finally joined the home improvement cult that is our family. After nearly a decade in Boston, my sister and her new husband moved back home and bought a house of their own.
Okay, that isn't really the house but the bonus "fun house" shed in the backyard.

Since I'm always sick and a total slacker, these photos are about a month old now. As you can see, they have already been hard at work. Aside from knocking out walls and all, they have scraped all the wallpaper out of the three bedrooms. They should be ready to begin painting soon.

The house is a nice starter house. Without them having done anything to the house, it is in nicer condition than any house we've ever bought. It has three bedrooms, one bathroom, a living-dining room and a kitchen. It was built in the 1950's and not too much has been done to is since aside from some painting.

The lone bathroom.

The original fuse box. They have had a new box installed since then. You know, something with more than 60 Amps.

Rot from a leaky washing machine.

The missing, rotten wall as seen facing the kitchen.

And the actual house in the dark.


Pale Horse, Pale Rider

Sometimes there just isn’t any prize for being right. We have all been very sick here at the Devil Queen. Monday night, the plague that had already claimed the rest of the family came to visit me. It was bad enough that I happily slept on the bathroom floor that night. If this stomach bug is anything like a preview for what life on chemo would be like, I have to wonder why bother.

Really, it’s funny how little it takes to reduce us from healthy, functional human beings to quivering sack of biological processes bereft of most of the higher functions.

Maybe this is something unique to the Devil Queen, but I find this old house a very depressing local for recuperation. On the one hand, I can’t help but think of all the people who died here. On the other, I can’t help but notice every bloody thing that still needs to be finished in all these long, listless hours on the couch or in bed.

What I find so funny is that I’ve been trying to take better care of myself the last month or so. You know, getting more sleep, eating better, etc. What do I get? I get every flu virus in circulation this season. Last year, I worked myself ragged, never slept, drank so much coffee that I pissed black tar, and was I sick? I think I got a cold, maybe. I know that making an empirical, scientific conclusion maybe hard with this data, but it is something to wonder about.

And, the superstitious fuck-wit that I am, I have to wonder about my karma. Scarlet and I hammer together a plan for the near future, and, more or less immediately, I get the flu, our town is hit by a tornado, and a heinous stomach virus decimates our entire family. At this point, I’m almost scared to do anything ambitious or productive.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Kick Me

Please, kick me while I'm down.

First, the flu, then tornados, and now more illness. Gideon was the plague bringer this time. There is nothing quite like being thrown up on at 5 AM on a fine Saturday morning. And, not that we actually got to enjoy it, but the weather was beautiful this weekend. Sigh. Sunday, Gideon is better, but, after dinner, Scarlet comes down with it. I figure that with my compromised immune system and an orgy of vomit, I'm a dead man walking.

On the upside, listening to dry-heaving all weekend is great diet. Somehow, your appetite just evaporates.

Is a normal week too much to ask for? I kind of miss them.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008


[The story below is from the Atkins Chronicle with a few edits. The picture above is also from the Chronicle. In case you didn't know, the Devil Queen is just a few miles north of Atkins. The Devil Queen and our family are fine, thank you to all of you who've asked. More posts to follow.]

"Tornado devastates Atkins: Four residents die, many injured

A rare February tornado touched down in Atkins at dusk Tuesday, Feb. 5, killing four residents, injuring many more and destroying homes and property.

The tornado, which apparently began in Yell County created a path of devastation from Lucky Landing on the north side of the lake, through a neighborhood at the east end of the lake on Bluebird lane, then over the levee to heavily damage houses on both sides of Highway 105 S. The funnel cloud then traveled northeast to cross SE 4th Street (old Wire Road) where the three members of the Jimmy Glen Cherry Jr. family (his wife, Dana, and daughter Emmy, 11) lost their lives. The powerful storm then crossed Highway 64 east of Atkins and caused extensive damage to the Union Grove Free Will Baptist Church and homes along Highway 64. Another resident, Leon Fletcher, 50, who lived at Talley Lane and Happy Bend Road, was also killed when the tornado destroyed his manufactured home. As the tornado crossed Interstate 40, vehicles were blown over, among them a truck hauling bales of cotton . . .

The same storm continued to track northeast from the Atkins area causing damage in Hattieville and Wonderview and up through Clinton and then through Gassville near Mountain Home, where several more people lost their lives. Storms spawning tornadoes traveled across Arkansas until 10 p.m., with 13 known fatalities reported in the state. . .

Emergency response personnel set up a staging area in the Atkins Fire Department Tuesday night as emergency personnel went door to door in the dark checking on residents in hard-hit areas. Authorities were at the same time handling the wreckage on the highway.

Daylight Wednesday revealed the extent of the damage as homeowners and emergency crews scoured the area assessing the needs of the victims. Emergency agencies from other counties and cities as well as support from the National Guard and the State Police had arrived during the night and were still arriving. About 10 a.m. Gov. Mike Beebe's helicopter landed on the Atkins school campus. He met with local officials and the press at the Atkins Fire Station. He said paper work was in progress for declaring the storm-struck places emergency areas. "State aid will be available soon," he said. . .

Local churches sprang into action to provide food and clothing for those in need. The old Atkins High School gymnasium became a volunteer support center. A fund for donations to help the Atkins victims of the storm has been set up at Liberty Bank account number 6130437. Donations of clothing and bedding should be taken to First Baptist Church in Pottsville.

Local residents with chain saws and other equipment have turned out to help with the cleanup. During the day heavy equipment continued to arrive from other parts of Arkansas. Calls are coming in from throughout the country with offers of heavy equipment and donations. . .

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Very, Very Sick

Sorry, have the flu. More posts to come. Uhg.


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