About taylorgraceauthor

Taylor Grace loves romance books. Writing and reading are her passion. She lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two spoiled akitas.

A post I loved…

I’ve watched the show The Handmaid’s Tale. I read the book. It was one of those I couldn’t, couldn’t put down. It was incredibly addictive…and terrifying. I had nightmares for two days after I started reading the book…and this week, the absolutely horrible attacks on Manchester haven’t helped.

The book is terrifying because it seems like our world is only steps away from making it come reality and not fiction. It’s also terrifying because all of the things in it have already happened at some point in history, so none can be denied with a ‘that’ll never happen’ sort of comment.

But, as always, words fail me when I think of the great parts of the book and movie. And, then I saw this post that puts into words some of the things my little brain couldn’t. I absolutely loved it. Big thanks to Part Time Monster for that wonderful read.

Last week, as I was watching “A Woman’s Place,” the sixth episode of Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, I was struck with a realization: I had not watched a single episode of the show without flipping through the social media feeds on my phone or my laptop simultaneously. So I started to think […]

via Why I Have to Look away from The Handmaid’s Tale Sometimes, and Why That’s a Good Thing — Part-Time Monster

Manchester, our thoughts and prayers are with you

We can only watch in horror as the news describes the horrific attacks at the concert in Ariana Grande in Manchester. Children and young people dead, words cannot describe what we feel.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Manchester.

Where we have a couch emergency

We had to go shopping for a couch yesterday. Our present couch is getting on in years and has been repaired more than once from sudden attacks by River.

There are basically two types of couches in my book. Those that look nice but don’t feel that comfortable and those that look like they should go into a basement and never see the light of day again but are the most comfortable thing you’ve ever sat on.

I’ve always liked the ones that look nice…until I sat on one that was hideous but I felt like I had no bones. The thought of coming home to that every day made my mouth water and  didn’t care what it cost or what it looked like, I wanted it like I wanted my next breath of air.

Yesterday, we headed out to find a new couch because the one we have at home feels like a chiropractor from hell has attacked your back and you get up with numbness in some places and pain in others. In other words, it was a couch emergency.

We ended up getting a recliner that doesn’t quite look like grandpa’s basement couch (see below).

It’s a recliner, though it has a bit of dignity in its lines. Ours is a two seater because our house is tiny and we’d like to be able to walk around the thing and it’s dark blue because we have two dogs and we’re not nuts.

Now, finding this little gem wasn’t a two minute process. My hubby is particularly choosy about his furniture and this search required checking out several stores and sitting on at least 20 couches. The entire process took so long that by the time he found this one, my stomach was starting to eat my lungs and I was cursing all British people in general and my hubby in particular.

Then we heard…it’s going to take 6 to 8 weeks to get here.

Review: The hour I first believed

A friend of mine loaned me the book, The hour I first believed by Wally Lamb. I had to have it read quickly because she needed it back. At over 700 pages, it’s not a tiny book, still I gave it a go…and I got hooked.

It’s odd because this, again, is not my type of book. I’ve never read Wally Lamb and the characters suffer so much that I wanted to stop reading; I’m a big wimp when it comes to characters not being happy. But the story and the writing refused to let me go. This book haunted me for the two days it took me to read it.

The story is about Caelum Quirk who starts out as an unhappy man in his third marriage, stumbling around life and not being very successful at living it. Then, while things around him unravel, Caelum slowly starts to confront the knots that are keeping him prisoner in his own life.

A lot of books are great stories, but few are an amazing experience. This one is. I can see why Oprah would have chosen this author as one of her favourites and picked his books a couple of times. I can see why he made the Bestseller list.

Wally Lamb manages to write the ordinary, haphazard occurrences of Caelum’s life into a masterpiece of miracles. Along the way, Caelum is transformed. His beliefs and doubts have completely changed. And, as the reader, I got to see it all.

His wife, Maureen is a nurse at Columbine when tragedy struck. This book is based on that fact but the story is only born around it. Maureen suffers from severe PTSD and becomes one of Caelum’s challenges. Along the way, Caelum meets other characters who teach him and push him further along his journey.

There are many things that I absolutely loved about this book. Though I had to read it quickly, I can see how sitting with it and savouring it would be divine. It’s got details and little nuances that need to be noticed along the way. Nothing is really left to chance, this book is written carefully and with clear attention to detail. It took the author 9 years to write and, in my humble opinion, it was worth every moment of those years. From the tone of the narrator, to the pace, to the twists and turns, this is a book to cherish.

(credit: goodreads.com)

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Being a mom is never easy.

You have to have courage…

Strength…

And patience.

But the rewards are awesome.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Review: The Handmaid’s Tale

It’s happened to me before, I grab a book and, a few pages later, I have to buy it. Well, it happened again. This time it was The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. It’s a negative dystopian novel, so definitely not my usual read but it was still incredibly addictive. I couldn’t put the thing down.

It was also terrifying. I dreamt about the book for two nights in a row.

Without giving too much away, the story is about Offred who is a Handmaid in the future of the US. In this setting, humankind is suffering from the inability to have children and, among other things, they have forced women who have working ovaries into being surrogates.

I say among other things because the entire civilization is incredibly controlled. With high-level monitoring, people only have to say the word and a black van comes and takes someone away. The entire country runs on a mixture of cultish religious mix and political agenda that’s really scary.

To better subdue the women they capture into willing handmaids, the women are taken to a centre where they get a dose of brainwashing mixed with a healthy amount of ‘religious beliefs’ and some physical torture to finish the deal. Everything from their name to their rights are completely taken away. They are named after the couple they are given to and are to pray that they get impregnated quickly so they can bear their couple a healthy baby.

The Handmaid’s Tale is part warning, part narrative. Offred is our guide through this terrifying world. She’s trying to survive so that she can find her daughter (also taken away) and escape.

I loved how well thought out the world was. Pretty much everything from the shopping stores to the clothing was carefully designed to fit into the story and it completed the picture perfectly. I particularly loved their dialogue and scripted answers to greetings. It depicts cults perfectly and gives a very real impression of what total control of government/cult can look like.

I also have to add that the book was actually written in 1986, where computers, the web and all our technological advances were mere figments of the imagination. The book still does a very competent and accurate projection of what the future will look like. There were no jarring shocks of mistakes along the lines of computers or technology.

To boot, there’s a new series on TV based on this book running right now and it’s getting great reviews. I saw the first episodes of it and it seems like a great adaptation of the book; really faithful to the writing and storyline.

So, absolutely, this one is a book I’d highly recommend. If you’re into dystopian society or just interested in a fun, entertaining read, check it out. I honestly couldn’t put the thing down until I had read the last page. It was mesmerizing.

(credit: amazon.ca)

Note: click on cover to go to site.

Where we might be building a garage…

We are putting a garage on our house. The lack of one didn’t seem to affect my lovely hubby when we bought it two years ago, but having lived through two of our beautiful Canadian winters clearing the snow off his car, he has decided we either move to the equator or we build a garage. Since I am not fond of air travel, I decided on the latter.

Now, after we spent all winter getting a permit for our build, we have two very sturdy construction men coming over on a regular basis to construct our garage. One is stocky and round, let’s call him Gus and the other is wiry and thin but has this massive moustache, the only large thing on his body. Let’s call him Rupert.

Well, Gus and his buddy have been over all of a day and have already transformed our front yard into a mess. Apparently, building a garage translates into making the deepest hole in the ground possible because they’ve been digging away like earthworms ever since they arrived.

To help them dig even dipper, they took apart our doggie fence and replaced it with this orange mess that I know our dogs will get through in no time. Trying to delay the inevitable, we have snuck all sorts of toys into their doggie house to try and entice them to stay in our yard.

Well, long story short, we’re hoping we’ll have a garage some time in the future. Right now we have a massive hole…and a dubious-looking fence.

My pros and cons of a plant-based diet

Almost 6 months into the plant-based diet, I have put together a little list of my pros and cons. I had some questions going in, like would it be more expensive? Would I have trouble adjusting? Can i still eat out? So, here’s what I found out, good and bad.

(credit:Cuisinicity)

The Good Stuff:

  • It feels super healthy and good to eat this way. Every time I take a bite, I’m putting good stuff in my body and it feels like a pat on the back. Just goodness for my body over and over.

(credit:She Said Beauty)

  • I feel better. My body feels better and I know my stomach and insides feel better too. That’s a huge bonus because I used to feel slightly sick or super full after meals. I don’t anymore.

(credit:Care2)

  • My taste buds have changed. It’s true. A silly green apple tastes like an incredible treat. I have no idea why or how but I love eating things that before were consumed only because they were good for me.

(credit:Tip Top Lifestyle)

The Bad Stuff:

  • I can’t eat out. My hubby has been hounding me trying to get me to go out to restaurants but the truth is the only things that are vegan there are salads that contain two sad little ingredients. That’s not a meal and helping him by peeling large amounts of crab legs at a buffet is not my idea of a good time. We have managed to find ethnic restaurants that do cater more towards vegans but it’s still tough.

(credit:The Family Dinner)

  • It’s more work. I used to eat whatever there was around the house not really giving what I put in my body any thought. Now Sunday I strategize the meals for the week and research what we’re going to eat in everything from breakfast to snacks. It’s work.

    (credit:Skindividual – blogger)
  • I do miss some things, like cheese and butter. It’s hard to have toast without butter and nothing vegan is close to melted cheese. Those things are tough to replace.

(credit:Bountiful Blessings Market – LocallyGrown.net)

Overall:

I haven’t found it more expensive to eat this way. I thought it would be, but I forgot just how expensive meat and fish can be. So, financially, this hasn’t been a struggle.

(credit:herbs and spice and other things nice)

As much as I love furry creatures, I didn’t do this for them. I did it because I thought it’d be better for my health. As it turns out, you can be a good, healthy vegan or an unhealthy one (fries and chips can be vegan friendly), so that’s not a great reason to continue.

(credit:Nichole Bernier)

So, will I continue? I go to have some blood work done this week and that will pretty much determine if I continue or not. If I find I’m deficient in some vitamins or supplements, I will change for my own health. But, right now, I’m still sticking with it.

(credit:My Raised Bed Florida Vegetable Garden)