Monday, January 30, 2012

*Life is in the journey!* ~ If I Were Brave

  Life's Inspirational Valiant Endeavors

~ If I Were Brave ~

I was brave once.

I spoke my mind,
stood up to bullies
and loved with all my heart.

I was brave once.
I lost those dear,
but kept them close.

I was brave once.
I asked, “How are you?”
and then
waited for an answer.

I was brave once.
I stood up and said,
“I do dare. I do.”

I was brave once.
I believed in truth,
I believed in hope,
I believed in integrity.
I chose ‘right’ over ‘easy’.

I was brave once.
I believed…
in the power of my voice,
the power of my words,
and the power of choice.

I was brave once.
I claimed responsibility,
and opened my heart to forgiveness.

If I were brave,
I would do it all over again...
in a heartbeat.

If I were brave.


“It takes courage to grow up
and become who you really are.”
~ e. e. cummings

 Courage is not the absence of fear.
It is action in its presence.

  Be Brave My Friends!

"The best way out is always through."
~ Robert Frost

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

*I Cook Barefooted!* ~ Key Lime Pie

Barefoot Love!

We moved a lot when I was little.

"Our battered suitcases
were piled on the sidewalk again;
we had longer ways to go.
But no matter,
the road is life."
~ Jack Kerouac

introduced us to
Giant Redwoods, the West Coast,
and Disneyland.
I was an infant;
Breast was the meal du jour!

introduced us to 
a very… long… car ride,
and bean sandwiches.
We were poor. 
We had love and beans.

introduced us to
the East Coast...

 The Florida Keys ~ That's me there; the little smiling face in the two piece!

the Sun, the Sand, and the Wind in our hair...

and it began my love affair
with my Be-lov-ed
Key Lime Pie!

"Adventure is a path.
Real adventure ~ self-determined, self-motivated,
often risky...
forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world.
The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it.
Your body will collide with the earth
and you will bear witness.
In this way you will be compelled
to grapple with the limitless kindness
and bottomless cruelty of humankind...
and perhaps realize that you yourself
are capable of both.
This will change you.
Nothing will ever again 
be black-and-white."
~ Mark Jenkins

In 1972,
my mom clipped a recipe from the Tampa Times.
She selected true key limes,
as the ingredient list suggested,
on a drive down to the Florida Keys.

Key limes are yellow, when ripe,
and smaller than the limes
found in these parts.
They’re tart and bitter and delicious!

The following November
we introduced 
Our Kentucky Family 
to a
Thanksgiving mouth explosion!
We've been hooked since!

There are few culinary pleasures that actually
tug on my heartstrings.
I do love me a Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut!
And, I am a sucker for a bowl of warm pasta and bread.
But it is that last Thursday in November,
every year since I was four,
that my mouth, literally, becomes a pie hole.

 “Really, it’s green?”

Yes, it is my friends!
Yes, it is.

Key Lime Pie

For Pie:
1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk
4 Egg yolks (Save the whites for Meringue!)
¼ cup Lime juice,
(Key limes preferably, but bottled lime juice will suffice!)
3 to 4 drops of Green food coloring
*Presentation folks. It's all in the presentation.*
1 Graham cracker crust

For Meringue:
4 Egg whites
1 tsp. Cream of tartar
3 Tbsp. Sugar

Beat egg yolks until light yellow.
Add sweetened condensed milk and lime juice.
Mix in drops of green, and Voila!
Pour into graham crust.

Beat all ingredients for the meringue in mixer
until stiff and peaks form.
~If you’re looking to combine dessert with your workout:
Whisk in a glass bowl and count after me…
One, Two, Ten-thousand! ~
Pile immediately on top of pie in pretty dips and waves.

Bake at 350 degrees until tips of meringue are lightly browned.

You want reviews?
    How 'bout, 
"Green is my new favorite color!" 

How 'bout You?
Have a recipe you want to share on 
*I Cook Barefooted!*?
Show some Barefoot Love and...
Send it here: 
Want to include a photo? Fun!

What's on your table?


“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions.
All life is an experiment.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 *Barefoot Love*Airbrush By, Colleen 

Monday, January 23, 2012

*Life is in the journey!* ~ "You Can"


Life's Inspirational Valiant Endeavors
~ “You Can” ~
This is the story of Rick and, his father, Dick Hoyt.
Born without the ability to move or speak, Rick is the inspiration that has moved his father to run for him for over two decades. Among the oldest, out of thousands they have competed against, Dick Hoyt has pushed, pulled and carried his son in over 950 races, 60 marathons… and 6 iron man competitions (That’s a 2.4 mile swim, carrying his son along with him, a 112 mile bike ride with his son leading the way and a 26.2 mile run, ending only when they crossed the finish line.)   

“I may be disabled, but I live a very fulfilling life.”
~ Rick Hoyt

Hero, defined by Merriam-Webster, might lead one to believe in fairy tales.
a: a mythological or legendary figure
often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability
b: an illustrious warrior
c: a man (or woman thank you very much) admired for his/her achievements
and noble qualities (Okay, getting warmer.)
d: one who shows great courage (…warmer still)

 I like to think it is the man, woman and child who show great love, respect and devotion every day for their son and brother. 
Dick Hoyt is a Hero by most standards.
He loves his son.
So he runs.
What defines this father as, Hero, in my heart is this…
Rain or shine, he shows up.
Life is in the journey!
You Can!

~ Life is in the journey! ~

Joy My Friends!

"The best way out is always through."
~ Robert Frost

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

*I Cook Barefooted!* ~ Chicken Pot Pie Love

Barefoot Love!

I am no cook. 
I beg, borrow and steal any recipe 
that sounds like it might taste yummy, 
and just maybe will satisfy my picky eaters. 
For the record:
They don't like mushrooms. Big no-no.
 They don't like peppers, onions or asparagus.
They don't like pretty much anything that used to swim in the ocean, 
hate chicken five days a week
and despise the smell of salmon patties.
Reality strikes:
Pick through it, talk to it, take it for a walk.
Whatever helps gets you past it.
 (What this means is, eat it or don't, but it is what's for dinner.)
 No worries, they won't starve. There's always bread.
 They like bread.
And, they're beginning to not mind the rest... so much.

Wednesdays are generally when I start
thinking about what to add to my grocery list
for the following week. 
By the time grocery day comes around
(this is any day I can get my butt in gear and actually make it to the store)
I am usually scrambling to remember that recipe I thought might
shake things up around here. Something my family 
just... might... thank me for.

So ~ Wednesdays are my new *I cook barefooted!* days here on 
Scarlett's Tattoo!
Read. Steal. Cook away!
And if you're in the mood for sharing, please do! 
(You can email me directly with a recipe
you'd like to share, if you like:
Don't forget to Name it something fun and Mark it with a 'B'! 
For Barefoot, of course!)
 ~And Thank you My Sweet, for *Barefoot Love!*~

So, here’s a funny story. 
Though true, to the best of my recollection, and apparently impaired judgment, I rarely humor such poor parenting at the supper table.
That is best served warm and with dessert!
My kids laugh out loud still today about 
“The night Mom lost it!”
Yes, my day had been less than stellar. I admit.
It was one night out of seven, I am sure, that we were all five of us actually sitting down together to eat at the kitchen table. Not in our coveted positions on the couch, the chairs and the floor in front of the television, but actually sitting our butts in chairs and giving thanks for what we were about to stuff into our waiting mouths.
In my worst nightmares, and ironically, also in my wildest dreams, I was in charge of feeding our spawn our beautiful family. As I stood in front of the fridge, door kicked open wide, kids whining and milling about my personal space, as if any minute their stomachs might turn inside out and flop onto the kitchen floor quivering...
I saw a nice bottle of white wine hiding waaaayyy back on the top shelf
 (obviously placed there for just such an occasion).
A smile lit my face.
I’ll give you supper.
Let’s all have a moment of silence, please,
while Mom indulges in some of that *Me* time
 she’s always going on about.
My husband, and sometimes better half, arrived just then to see me leaning into the kitchen counter, glass in hand, a stray child at my feet, 
 glaring smiling warmly at him, as he made his big entrance.
"So, it's one of those days, is it", he grinned.

Two glasses of wine, on an empty stomach,
in case you’re wondering how long it takes 
to prepare a meal fit for this family.
By the time our Thanks were given to God, the Universe and All that is good in the world, those chicken pot pies met their fate,
as ALL good Chicken Pot Pies do.
Here’s the funny part.
One glass of wine warms my belly.
Two glasses of wine…
 catapults me straight to Crazy Town.
 Somewhere between Grace and Pot Pie Love, I practically broke into song, singing the praises of my home cooked meal.
Apparently, I also made plans
 (ahem! … in the form of a kick-ass business model)
to cook ‘em up, wrap ‘em tight and sell them by the side of the road!
Oh, yeah... and there was something about 
how I hovered over my plate whispering to my fork, but…
I don’t believe that one bit.


Chicken Pot Pie Love!

1 Tbsp. oil
4-6 chicken breasts, skinned
Frozen veggies, your choice
(I use broccoli, mushrooms; sometimes peas and carrots)
Chicken gravy, homemade with chicken stock or canned
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Refrigerated prepared pie shells for top and bottom crust
Heat oil in skillet.
Cook chicken till no longer pink.
If using mushrooms, add them now with a little butter and cook 5min.

*I season the chicken  and mushroom mixture
with a little minced garlic or garlic salt, 
and my favorite, 'McCormick's Italian Herb Seasoning Grinder!' *

Place bottom crust in pie tin. Toss in frozen veggies, unthawed, filling entire bottom crust. Top with cooked chicken mixture from skillet.
Pour a wee bit of gravy over top.
Spread approximately ½ cup cheddar cheese over top.
Place top crust over pie.

Bake at 375 degrees, for about 45 minutes, give or take.
Pies are done when top crust is lightly browned.
Serve with gravy on the side.

*4 to 6 chicken breasts will make two pies...
unless you want more veggies than chicken,
and in that case, more.*

*One pie will serve 4 hungry adults* 
Unless you're a giant or a hungry elf, and then, you will need two pies.
*Little known fact: We like a boiled egg, on the side, with our pot pies.*

You want reviews?
    How 'bout, 
~ a little Dickens! ~

*'Please, sir, I want some more.'

The master was a fat, healthy man; but he turned very pale. He gazed in stupified astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper. The assistants were paralysed with wonder; the boys with fear.

'What!' said the master at length, in a faint voice.

'Please, sir,' replied Oliver, 'I want some more.'

The master aimed a blow at Oliver's head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arm; and shrieked aloud for the beadle.

The board were sitting in solemn conclave, when Mr. Bumble rushed into the room in great excitement, and addressing the gentleman in the high chair, said,

'Mr. Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir! 
Oliver Twist has asked for more!'

There was a general start. 
Horror was depicted on every countenance.*

~ Charles Dickens ~
'Oliver Twist'

How 'bout You?
Have a recipe you want to share on 
*I Cook Barefooted!*?
Show some Barefoot Love and...

Send it here: 
Want to include a photo? Fun!

What's on your table?

“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions.
All life is an experiment.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 *Barefoot Love*Airbrush By, Colleen 

Monday, January 16, 2012

*Life is in the journey!* ~ Choosing Peace

Life's Inspirational Valiant Endeavors
~ Choosing Peace ~

I have yet to meet another human being who *doesn’t* live with worry, a modicum of regret or feel the steady downward pull of stress in their daily lives. If I could sit down to a cup of tea or even a warm doughnut, and discuss *The Journey* with the Dalai Lama himself, I would be most appreciative and humbled. I am amazed by his culture’s resilient spirit and their chosen path to peace and tranquility.

I, however, spent much of my twenties and thirties practicing the shadowy art of denial. My suffering eased, eventually, thanks to my younger brother’s keen intuition and love for me, when he suggested way-back-when, that whatever it was that I had been doing was apparently not working out so well, and that I might do myself and those around me a giant favor ~ and just do something about it already. Only, I didn’t quite understand what he was talking about at the time, because I was standing on the edge of that river, Denial, soaking wet, a deafening noise in my brain and furious with no one in particular.

Counseling seemed the answer in my early teens. The right someone (someone other than those closest to me, and whom I considered the source of my pain) listened to me for the first time in my young life. I see now it was on that therapeutic couch, literally speaking, that I first began to believe in the existence of my own voice.

Then Life happened. I grew up. I found my voice, but didn’t have a clue how to use it. Like a child with a new toy, I thought it was mine to covet. And rather than feel the uncomfortable process of self-actualization and accept peace into my life, I buried my head deep in the sand, eyes open for effect, and indulged my fears through self-preservation. Food, and the quest for love became my drugs of choice. I married my high school sweetheart. We had a baby, then two, then three. I, and my husband, lived relatively uncomplicated lives (outside of the pain still brewing inside of me, in the form of anger and resentment) on an artist’s meager but gloriously consistent salary, with a dog, two cats, a house full of kids, car payments, and a mortgage.

It was no Shangri-La, but looking back now, it was ~ Everything I always knew I wanted.

*Big Sigh*
Remembering the taste of sand 
between my teeth, makes me want to eat cake.

Here. Now. I am forty-three! My three children are immersed in those pivotal stages in their young lives, where I first entertained low self-esteem and self-deprecating behavior and attitudes ~ 13, 15 and 18 years old. And There, but for the grace of God, go they! It seems, one of my more modest life goals, has always been to try to live in a place of peace ~ without the aid of cake. Somewhere in my mid-thirties, (Yep, it only took me thirty-something years to access that part of my brain, folks.) I felt, for the first time, the irony of Life itself.

No longer drowning in the day to day monotony and the illusion of Life itself, and feeling reasonably confident that my voice would be heard by those closest to me, I lay my heart out on the table and took a leap of faith that no one would stomp on it.

And that is when I woke up. 

"A long time on a crooked road."
~ Joe, "Joe Versus the Volcano"

I awoke to the realization, that “Life is pain. You’ve got to scrape the joy out of it.” I was no novice, no stranger to pain. No one is. “Aye, there’s the rub!” (There, my friends, is the irony in Life. It is with little shame, that I just quoted Rod Kimble and William Shakespeare in practically the same breath!) 

Life IS in the journey! It’s a slow walk, naked, barefooted, and as if that weren’t enough of a lesson for us, bearing the weight in the struggle of those we love and those we despise as well, through ten-thousand miles of our own fear-driven conscience and consciousness. Hallelujah! Pass the gravy!

We are on one great, life-altering expedition into the unknown the moment our little hands and feet, and cheek, meet our mother’s breast, our father’s arms; and if we’re lucky, a warm blanket and a healthy sense of adventure.

Peace lies within, like a flower eager to open itself to the sun.  It has always been there inside of you. It flows through the life blood in each and every cell in our bodies, before we are even aware of the world outside of us. Its purpose ~ to teach us something profound, something we cannot live and thrive without. To teach us how to love ~ ourselves, and others.

It is my wish that, *Life is in the journey!* will serve all those who visit, as a most important and profound reminder, through Laughter, Tears of Awe and Joy, and through Peace... that there is comfort to be found in this journey we share.

We have only to choose to live our lives, "...awake and in constant, total amazement!"

Alexander Tsiaras’, “Conception to Birth” is, perhaps, one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring stories we, as humans, have to tell. A mathematician by trade, Tsiaras shares his expertise and his talent for minute detail, with humility, in a lecture given ~ Here

~ Life is in the journey! ~

Peace My Friends!

“The best way out is always through.”
~ Robert Frost

It is not my wish to debate in this forum,
when *Life* begins.

It is my intention to celebrate *Life* in all stages and all forms,
here in this place among friends, and with a healthy dose of humility.
~ Thank you!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Like Oil and Water

                                                                                      Heart on Fire

(The New Year is here, most likely the tree has been hauled out and the candles have been lovingly placed in the closet. I shared this almost a year ago and thought this morning, now is a good time for a gentle reminder... To PLEASE make the time for Fire Safety! I am the first to admit that I panicked. My boys, on the other hand... Good God! Did *I* teach them that? Well, maybe it was their dad. Give me blood. Give me vomit. Give me a person that needs a good cry... and I will most likely know just what to do. Give me fire... in my house... with my children present... and my curtains burning... and obviously, well, obviously I am pleased that it is not MY name in the papers as the dimwit who burned her family's home down. Lesson learned, alright! Think Before You Act! I wish all my readers a happy, healthy and safe 2012!)

We hear it when we're little, “Stop Drop and Roll”. We heard it, at least four times a year, as we followed lazily after one another through the school building, out into either a cold and blustery day or a searingly hot one, “Walk swiftly and quietly toward your exit boys and girls”. We hear it, even as we sternly warn our own children, fear gripping our hearts, “Don’t touch that stove – Don’t play with those matches – Don’t forget, little ones, Mommy and Daddy will come for you. Stay where you are!”

So why is it, like oil and water, all of the fire safety warnings I’ve filed away in my brain since childhood simply separated themselves, alongside the panic rising in my chest, from any of my somewhat-rational, usually dependable reasoning skills yesterday – sinking to the bottom of the towering inferno I had mistakenly created in my kitchen.

I stepped out of my kitchen onto our deck, for no more than a few minutes, after setting a small skillet with roughly a quarter inch of cooking oil on the burner. It completely slipped my mind that I had already turned on the heat – as I walked away from it, distracted. This is where my good sense deserted me completely. Honestly, it is with disgust and shame that I admit here today to you all, that I did Everything Wrong – Everything I knew I should not have done. All I know is, the moment I saw flames blazing on my stove top, my fear of losing Everything took over.

One third of all house fires start in our kitchens, folks – and are generally caused by something as simple as leaving what you have cooking on the stove unattended. Those involving grease can be exceptionally volatile.
Now, I have forgotten my keys were in my very hands, as I turned over the house searching for them – a time or two over the years. I have forgotten to turn off the water to the barn, thereby watering every moss-covered rock in creation. (Wish the pony pasture would have been in the way!) I have even forgotten my age, on occasion – sometimes on purpose. And to answer your question, no, I do not suffer with excessive memory loss. Hmmmnnn… at least, I don’t think so. My memory is probably no better or worse than any mother of three children with a small farm, a large mortgage, multiple dogs, cats, chickens, bunnies, horses and any number of other critters that come and go to love and manage! I lead a busy life. Don't we all.

This is that moment – the one where I read about someone else’s misfortune and think, well, I’m more mindful than that, right? I’ve heard all of the warnings. I know what to do, where to run, where our children are, where our pets are, where the fire extinguisher is – oh, wait – we DO have a fire extinguisher, right? Maybe I should locate it and make sure I know how to use it. Eh, maybe tomorrow.

Speaking clearly from the other side of “tomorrow” – this glorious other side, where my children are safe, I have no more than a few small blisters on my arms and face, little more than new window curtains to replace, and our home with all of our treasures and memories still standing – Please Do Not Wait for Tomorrow!

LOCATE your fire extinguisher!
KEEP it in the kitchen!
KNOW how to use it!
And NEVER, EVER WALK AWAY from oil, in a pan, on the burner!
Not even for a minute! It takes less than ONE to lose EVERYTHING!
And, HERE – is where, what I thought I knew about grease fires, kicked the butt of what I really knew about grease fires!



Instinct, not knowledge – told me to grab the skillet with a hand towel and walk it slowly through my kitchen and outdoors.

#1 Rule of Grease Fire Safety:  NEVER try to move the pan.  This can make a bad situation MUCH worse.
When fire licked at my wrist as I carried the flaming skillet across my kitchen and hot oil spit into my face, my heart raced, propelling me into Survival Mode – Throw it into the sink, I thought.  My eyes shot upward then over the kitchen sink at the pretty lace curtains I had just washed not a week ago, trembling slightly with the billowing cloud of smoke as the flames grew higher.  Panic screamed, WATER!  My brain whispered... no.

Who knew water would not only NOT put out a grease fire, but it would make it grow bigger?  I didn’t – that’s who.  Yes, I had heard that you should not throw water on a grease fire.  I won’t tell you that I thought it might simply produce gremlins, and only if after midnight.  I might say if you had read my post, "When I Start", that I was going to start my period tomorrow.  But then, that seems a bit smug.

#2 Rule of Grease Fire Safety:  NEVER, EVER throw WATER on a GREASE FIRE!  It can cause it to explode and will cause it to throw flaming grease with it!
I panicked, reaching for the faucet and my two boys, ages seventeen and twelve yelled simultaneously, ‘No!’  I’d like to say thank you to hours of “Mythbusters” reruns on the Discovery channel Saturday mornings.  I would also like to thank our local volunteer fire department who first showed our children the awesomeness of a fire hose.

But, it was our oldest son, Will who acted – so fast, in fact, that I have he alone to thank for saving our home and all that that entails.  The moment the rushing water ignited the flames further toward the curtains, the cabinets and the ceiling, he bolted down two flights of stairs to his room and returned seconds later with... whaddya know... a fire extinguisher.  I am reminded now after almost five hours of clean up in my kitchen last night, where a fine yellow powder covered every surface and a fire was snuffed out, that we are truly fortunate to have been left with the mess that could be cleaned up, rather than picked through and hauled away!

Our home is intact, albeit needing some baking soda in the carpets – and possibly a coat of fresh paint on the kitchen and living room ceilings.  Once the odor of grease and smoke clears from the house and I hang some new curtains we’ll be right as rain again and back to normal, with one exception.

I will never again NOT keep a working extinguisher under the kitchen sink – and thanks to some long overdue research, which took all of fifteen minutes, I will now know how to put out a grease fire.

1.Never throw water on a grease fire.  It will cause it to explode.  Righto!
2.Do Not throw Sugar OR Flour on a fire.  They are combustible.
3.Never try to move a pan that is on fire.  This can make things much worse. Got it!
4.Put a lid on it!  SMOTHER a grease fire!  Throw on an oven mitt and using either a lid or a cookie sheet, slide it over the pan – something that is fire proof that will not allow air in.  If you can’t find the proper lid, grab one that is bigger but will fit snugly around the edge to cut off the fire’s air supply.
5.Shut off the burner and do not remove the lid until the pan is cooled 15 minutes.




Use a class B or BC or ABC fire extinguisher.
Caution: Fire extinguisher’s release so much pressure that it could tip the pan or spread the burning grease if sprayed too close to the grease fire. So, if you do use a fire extinguisher, start at a distance away and move towards the fire, rather than locating the nozzle directly near the burning grease.

Should a grease fire occur, don’t panic. Humph! If you believe your safety is in jeopardy, evacuate the house and call 911 from the neighbors. Don’t forget – where there’s Fire, there’s Smoke! Carbon monoxide poisoning can have lasting effects, even after you’ve gotten out of the house.  

Smoke inhalation is the leading cause of death from indoor fires.

Smoke rises, so GET DOWN and GET OUT quickly! And, NEVER, EVER go back into the house if the fire has not been contained! Wait for the fire department to arrive!

Install a smoke detector on each floor of your house or apartment, and one in the basement. They should be located close to sleeping areas and near the kitchen so that a cooking fire can be detected in its earliest stage. We had them outside of every bedroom and in the basement. We DID NOT have one on the same floor as the kitchen! Our reasoning was, if we placed one too near the cooking area it would be screaming at us every time a little smoke escaped. Had one been installed closer by, perhaps I would have reached it BEFORE the flames were uncontrollable and BEFORE thick, black, choking smoke had completely filled the entire first floor – from ceiling to my eye level!

When to Seek Medical Care for Smoke Inhalation
It wasn’t until the fire was out and we were all safely out of the house that I worried about how much smoke we may have inhaled into our lungs. If you suspect you or someone with you are having problems due to smoke inhalation, contact your doctor or go to the local emergency room for advice.
Seek medical attention if you or someone with you experience the following symptoms with smoke inhalation:
  • Hoarse voice
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Prolonged coughing spells
  • Mental confusion
  • Decide whether to call an ambulance for assistance. Someone with smoke inhalation can get worse quickly. If such a person were transported by private vehicle, significant injury or death could occur on the way that might have been avoided if that person were taken by emergency medical services.
It is so easy to put things off when it seems we are always trying to just find a moment to relax in between our running. House fires are often avoidable. It literally takes just minutes to lose everything you own and more importantly, your life or the lives of those you love.

Slow Down – Be Prepared – Be Informed!

With Love! Scarlett


                 Oil, Water and Fire Don't Play Well Together


 ( Heart on Fire source: Here )