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!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Competitive Freezing

Funny. I didn't realize that freezing to death in your own home was a competitive sport until recently. I read this post which I thought was cool because of the story behind it. Then, I had lunch with my sister, and she told me about some friends of hers who see how long they can go without turning on the heat in Boston. I might be mixing my stories, but I think November 1st was their minimum goal for this year. As far as my sister knew, it wasn't an issue of money or economy, but a competitive need to see if they could do it.

As for me, I don't have a target date. My goal is to go as long as possible without turning on the heat. Then, once the dirty deed is done, the goal is to run it as little as possible. For me, it is all about money. I could have had a nice European vacation for what we spent on heating the Devil Queen last winter.

So far, I haven't been tempted yet. However, this week is the first one that has actually been cold at night. Last night the temperature made it down to 48 degrees. According to the thermostat, it was a cool 60 degrees in the Devil Queen this morning. Tonight should be a real weenie shrinker though with low around 38 degrees. But the heat won't be coming on tonight. I'll just wear a sweat shirt if it gets nippy.

What is interesting is how much just being at home adds to the house's temperature. I've been closing the living room door to the drafty main hall this week. This segregates the thermostat and the living room, dining room, kitchen, and the bathroom/laundry from the rest of the house. That is about 756 square feet. Just by coming home and being there, the temperature will rise 1 degree within the first 30 minutes to an hour. If I cook and turn on most of the lights, you can add another couple of degrees over the evening. If you run the dishwasher and run the washer and drier too, you can bring the temperature up by five or six degrees by bedtime.

I'm thinking that if I get the rest of the storms up this weekend and re-hang the transom over the living room door that it ought to be possible to keep this part of the house pretty warm for a while, particularly if I use an electric space heater.
In any case, it ought to be an interesting experiment.

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Blogger Marilyn said...

>>Tonight should be a real weenie shrinker though with low around 38 degrees. But the heat won't be coming on tonight. I'll just wear a sweat shirt if it gets nippy.<<

Maybe sweat PANTS would be more in order.

10:54 AM  
Blogger John said...

Point taken. Either I should go with pants, or I should have said something one of my friends in high school said, "Jesus Christ, it's so cold I could cut diamonds with my nipples!"

6:54 PM  
Blogger Jayne said...

I was shooting for November 1st before turning on my furnace, but Friday morning it was 48 degrees inside my house. Yes, INSIDE. It was 52 outdoors. Holy crap. So now the furnace is on, set at 55. I have the parts of the house I'm not living in shut off, and a space heater in the bedroom.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take advantage of free solar heat as well. When it's a nice sunny day, open the curtains and take in that sunlight. On bright winter days, our south-facing living room can be a full five degrees warmer than the rest of our house. The curtains that I hung over the (big non-doored) entrance to the living room have long since paid for themselves.

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