Life Stuff, Music

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Books and Reading


!!!! Spoilers ahead !!!!!

Red LeavesRed Leaves by Paullina Simons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It’s either a * or a **** depending on if you let yourself read the last 5 pages.

This novel owes a great deal to Wuthering Heights and The Secret History,if only for setting. Maybe Spencer also has more than a namesake nod to film noir detectives.

It’s a hodgepodge that reads very compellingly once you come to realize that Kristina’s stubbornness and stupidity during the car accident are meant to endear her to you and show that something is somehow broken in her. I found it unputdownable once I realized that Kristina and Albert must have a very unusual if not forbidden relationship. I went straight to Flowers in the Attic and assumed they were brother and sister, or at the very least Romeo and Juliet. Apparently many readers thought the ‘incest’ was a twist only revealed at the end. For me the twist was that he was adopted. In fact, even as Spencer was interviewing the mother, I thought she was lying about the death of the twin, and we would find out he hadn’t died after all.

At the last sentence, I found this the most bewildering novel by Simons I had ever read. Perhaps one of the most bewildering ever. At times, it took almost a spoof of a fantastical novel to it’s heart and seemed to reveal that Nathan/Billy/Albert is the devil’s child we must guard to bring into our innocent and wholesome families and homes. Ha! To me the truly evil people here were Kristina’s mother and father who CAST BOTH CHILDREN OFF with no more parental love, when it was clear the two loved each other. OK – the lack of supervision and immature sexual relationship was bad but surely the wrong done here was not by the boy but by his ‘loving family.’

At least the grandmother got it right.

I was devastated that Spencer didn’t come to his senses in the end, and found it a confusing point of view from Simons who normally is such fated lovers romantic.

View all my reviews

Building the Dream House, Life Stuff

The 676 Different Shades of Of White (and Seagull Grey)

Decision fatigue. It is something that happens.

decision fatigue refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions made by an individual after a long session of decision making – Wikipedia

Towards the end of a house build, one of the things you think might be an easy thing to specify is the inside wall paint colors you have been picturing for over a year. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as “off-white” and “seagull grey”. I decided on seagull grey for my bedrooms a long time ago.  It is such a soothing color.  Cool, yet not cold, calming for sleep. And I like seagulls actually. I love them.

So I went to the paint store to pick up the paint sample and color to tell my builder so he would have it ready for the painter, when the time comes. I nearly had a panic attack when I saw that there were probably at the very least 25 shades that could qualify as ‘seagull grey’. And I am not joking, I actually felt like I was having a panic attack. The idea of having to narrow down the decision was completely debilitating. After making so many decisions, the idea of having to make just this one more felt overwhelming. I walked straight back out the door.

It took 3 days for me to force my way back there. I had to formulate a plan that I could live with. So I started taking home four color samples at a time. I would make myself pick my favorite of those 4 by the next morning, then go pick up four more to compare to that one and so on. By the end of the week, I had picked a grey for my bedrooms. And I refuse to look at any more “colors I may like”. I’ve gone with the following:

This is Lady Grey by Berger and I don’t care what brand of paint my painter uses as long as he gets the shade right.

Most people who have redecorated or built or painted know that there are 5 billion shades of off white. So I took a similar approach to the color of our other interior walls.

And now I just have to refrain from revisiting those choices and trust my decision. Because going back and questioning those decisions now might just break me.


Building the Dream House, Cats - Pets, Life Stuff

Feline Access Door


The most important beings in any place I’m going to call home are the cat(s) who currently own me. Something is just permanently missing without a cat around. Preferably two. If I can get away with it: three.

While we have lived in the US, we have had a strictly indoor only policy for our felines. We learned the hard way that the Eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains harbor many predators. Cats allowed to roam freely outside will, sooner rather than later, fall prey to owls, coyotes, foxes, or even cougars. Everyone we know has a personal story of learning this the hard way.

New Zealand does not have that problem! It is still very normal for cats to live inside and out. So while Booker and Noob, our 4 year old litter mate rescue kitties, will be staying here in Colorado with my son (and my husband when he has to be here for work), I am very much looking forward to welcoming another pair of litter mates. It will be wonderful. In my stints alone without my family in various rental places overseeing the build I have really really missed my cats. I talk to birds now because of it.



Our home already has a cat access sculpture outside our entry way. It’s a cool statement on the house as well as a way for any cats in my future to access the top floor where we will live.

And, a couple of weeks ago, I made the builders promise to make me a cat flap in the wall behind the couch. They are going above and beyond. It will match my window joinery and sit straight on the floor like an awning window.  Spoiled felines indeed!

House Blog Series

Building the Dream House

7 Month House Build – General update

We are now mid-February, and approaching 7  months into the Dream House Build. I have not posted regular updates as promised. Maybe I’ll get into it sometime, maybe I won’t. Let’s just say building is stressful. Here are the latest set of pics – there are actually more wires and pipes than this shows, but I didn’t get pics last week.

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Now that I have made all the decisions I knew I had to make, and about a million more, I have entrusted my wonderful Project Manager with the completion and come to Denver to be with my husband until we can move in. Actually, we will probably check in one more time before completion, but it’s not set in stone.

I have lots of other posts to make on more specific build topics, but no promises on how often or when!

The Green Door – Building the Dream


Life Stuff

In other news

In other news, my oldest son turned 21, my youngest son got an associates degree in science, my husband and I are better than ever, i do not have the ping to game, I miss living with a cat, and rumors are rife when I am absent.

My friends are my friends, my husband and I love each other, it was amazing to get some video calls from BlizzCon and I will probably never miss it again, even if I go by myself.

I know who I am. I know who my friends are. And that is important even if you run away to the edge of the world.

To quote Lily Allen:

“Do we have to

keep talking ’bout

where you think it is I’m from?

I’ma make you see

You don’t know me

You don’t know me

No things never change

No telling some people”


Building the Dream House, Life Stuff

ROOF – General update on the house

So if you are paying attention, I am building a house. Well, I am not building, my awesome builder Damian Percival is building it for us. They are amazing. The guys building my home are amazing. I cannot even. In true millennial speak, I cannot even.

Today was a major milestone. We had the roof put on and it was beyond emotional for me. Usually, I go around and talk to my amazing carpenters whenever I feel that things are going well, the weather is shit, or good, or just when I feel like connecting with these awesome professionals.

Today, when I saw the roof going on as I drove slowly past, I started crying. Then I walked into the build after they had left and it was so amazing.

A roof, and plywood going up, makes it so … private. So much like the feeling of the home I know it will be.

It was a big day for me.





















The Green Door – Building the Dream