Archive for October, 2014

What Matters

by: Rebecca Taylor

****I wrote this in June 2013 and believe that it is important that we all consider this****

There are important issues to consider in the world – things of concern, yet if you read the news, you will see that it is full of fear and pettiness. However, the problem is that the ridiculous conflicts are infringing on some people’s human rights. Language is an issue, but I don’t think it needs to be. There is absolutely no reason why in Canada we cannot all live in harmony. It is the conscious effort we all make to communicate that is important. I consider myself bilingual (English & French). English is my first language but when I went to school I began to learn French in kindergarten. I can carry on a conversation with most people in French and if I do not know I word, I can speak “Franglais.” Many French Quebecers that I know try to speak English and if they do not know a word, they will say it in French. We manage to get the point across and that is what matters. Why are we fighting about one language needing to be larger on signs? Are we not all equal? There have been so many fights to be equal over the years – rights involving gender equality, skin colour, religion and sexual preference. It’s actually quite simple if you stop and think about it, we are all human beings. The next time you go to introduce yourself think about this fact. Where we come from is a part of our history and I can honestly say I like my small town roots, the history of my province and of my country but if it comes down to an argument of who am I, the best answer might just be “a person.” Let us stop the arguing and make a pact to get along. We should not allow a few people to cause pandemonium. We need to step up and say enough. Money and valuable resources are being spent to enforce language laws yet there are problems with our roads, our education and healthcare systems. Would these funds and human resources not be better used in places where they can benefit everyone?

Rosa Parks said, “Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome.” I say, let us join together and overcome our differences. We are all equal; we are all unique human beings who have much to offer this world, if we stand up and get it done. One step in front of the other will lead us down the road where we want to go, let’s start and we will build bridges as we go to make anything possible. There is a Kenyan proverb that says “Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” Let all humanity be that bundle. Someone also said, “TEAM=Together Everyone Accomplishes More,” let these wise words be a lesson to us all. If we are all willing to set aside the pettiness and the fear, we can make good things happen. Things that matter. I believe it’s possible to make positive change, do you?

**ALSO, check out the POP Writing contest!**

Paradise on Paper Writing Contest!

Paradise on Paper Writing ContestClick on the image to enlarge details of the contest. Thanks.

Wild Child

Written in 2008 & previously published onMichael Lee Johnson’s A Tender Touch & Shade of Blue blog

by: Rebecca Taylor

She’s a wild child

There’s nothing mild about her

It’s all hot sauce and chili peppers

She drives in the spurs of her dad’s old pickup truck.

 

Carrying her wild side everywhere she goes

It just keeps showing in plain sight

She’s full of sass and style

Every once in a while

She gets a little calmer

But she’s wild all the same.

 

She’s got a fiery temper

Every challenge tempts her

Driving everyone around her crazy

She talks in mazes

Some wonder why in blazes she is that way.

 

She’s a wild child

Smooth as glass

And bold as brass

She’s full of spice

Never stops to think twice.

 

Scarlet Red

by: Rebecca Taylor

**previously published by Perspectives  Magazine**

I am Scarlet Red but you can call me burgundy or crimson if you’d like, just don’t describe me as ordinary. I have an amazing presence on earth because I am prize winning ribbons and flamboyant roses carried by brides on their wedding day or planted in immaculately kept gardens. My depth catches everyone as soon as I clutch their gaze. I look great in clear curiously shaped bottles of perfume that carry memorable names like Raspberry Wonder and Ardent Ruby. Even my name has a twang of sophistication. When I am bejewelled on clothing like exquisite ball gowns and radiant dress shirts I illuminate the room especially when I’m placed in the spot light.

Some say that I am a vain shade but I laugh and tell them that I surge through the veins of every human being on the globe, radiating their blood, assisting to give them life. I am also the colour of the human heart and many other vital organisms on earth. I adore being who I am, the most beautiful colour in the world. However, without my friends shimmery blue, gorgeous green, sunflower yellow and the others, the planet wouldn’t be as splendid a place for me.

All in Moderation

by: Rebecca Taylor

“All the news ever talks about is fat free this and organic that,” complained Monica Moulton to her friends. It was Friday night and they were having their monthly get together, this time at Simone Vien’s house.

“I know, sometimes you just don’t know what you should and shouldn’t be eating. Researchers are always changing their minds, one day you should be drinking milk and then a few days later there is something bad for you in it,” replied Carmen Philips.

“Funny that we’re talking about this now, at our monthly pig out,” teased Simone.

“I think we can all agree that chips, pretzels, and fudge brownies are not something you should be having every day, but once in a while isn’t going to kill you,” retorted Carmen.

“All that talk about putting the nutrition content on the menu and the calorie count, who wants that? If I go out for a meal at a restaurant once in a while, I’m going to choose something that I want to eat, not the item with the lowest amount of calories in it,” said Simone.

“I can make an edible spinach salad at home but I’m no good with those fancy pasta dishes. Macaroni and cheese is about as fancy as I get,” said Monica.

“Well you’re a single mom working two jobs, it isn’t like you have the time to cook, and I’ve had supper at your place before, you manage the four food groups,” replied Carmen taking a handful of pretzels from the bowl on the coffee table.

“Yeah, bagged salad and pizza,” retorted Monica laughing, “some cook I am.”

“Pizza has all four food groups, you probably wouldn’t want to eat it every night, but it’ll do.”

“I hate packing lunches for my kids and I’m home all day and have the time to cook,” said Carmen. “I never know what to make and so many things contain traces of peanuts which aren’t allowed because of the possible food allergies. I’m so glad some companies are starting to put the peanut free symbol on their boxes, it makes shopping so much faster.”

“These get togethers are great because it gives us all a chance to relax and have fun once a month but what we should be doing is getting together and making meals that we can freeze, then our lives would all be so much less stressful,” said Simone.

“It would make things faster wouldn’t it but how much would we cook?”

“We could make enough to last a few weeks, and some nights we could throw things together like we are now,” said Monica.

“Some of those cooking shows say meal planning is the way to go,” answered Carmen pouring herself another glass of wine.

“I don’t know how much more planning I want to do in my life, I seem to be living from my agenda with coordinating all my work shifts, babysitters, soccer practices and piano lessons, to have to plan meals on top of it all,” replied Monica sighing.

“We could get our kids involved and maybe Carmen and I could get our husbands involved too. We could all get together and make the plans and then us ladies could go grocery shopping and then we could cook together and on the nights we aren’t using our meals maybe the kids and husbands could help out.”

“It’s worth a try. It’ll help us all have healthier lifestyles and then maybe the kids will be able to apply it throughout their lives and it won’t be so hard for them when they’re our ages,” answered Carmen.

“We can’t cut out all the foods that are supposedly not good for us because eating should be fun, not all calorie counted, measured portions,” replied Monica between bites of her brownie.

“We can do this, none of us will give up our favourite foods, and I don’t think any of us are going to go overboard and become tofu eating vegans,” replied Simone her blue eyes twinkling.

“To each their own,” teased Monica, “I guess the tofu eaters are entitled to their own opinions.”

“Like my little Charlie’s love for peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches. I understand peanut butter and jelly, the thought of PB & mayo isn’t appetizing to me but if he’ll eat it,” laughed Simone.

“Hopefully we can find a way to get my two to stop being such picky eaters. With the little bit of time I have to cook and the fact that they hate any kind of vegetable that isn’t a French fry,” answered Monica.

“We’ll hide the veggies, don’t you worry, and as long as you bake the French fries they’re vegetables,” answered Carmen.

“We can do this, we’ll get it all figured out and we’ll all be eating the things we like in moderation. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the taste of junk food occasionally.”

Monica, Simone, and Carmen got themselves organized, they got together more often and planned and cooked together. They got their families involved and learned how to make some fun new dishes like a grilled veggie and pasta dish, rice and meat wrapped in grape leaves cooked in a tomato sauce and a quick and easy stew recipe. They learned how to manage their time, their menus, and their lifestyles while still enjoying their favourite foods. The three friends still got together once a month to pig out and have fun together, sometimes they just talked or watched a movie but more and more they were sharing new recipes, ideas and takes on cooking. They learned how to cook and have fun all in moderation.

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