Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How I Interact With Cops While Bearing Arms

This is prompted by the recent jury verdict on the police shooting of Philando Castile.

I'm not going to go over circumstances of the shooting, nor the trial which gave acquittal to the police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile. I want to make two quick comments about that specific case, and then tell you what I do when I get pulled over while carrying.

Comment # 1. Philando Castile was legally carrying a firearm, and in no way using the firearm to present a threat. He did ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong, and I want to be clear about that.
Comment  # 2. His family asked that any financial support to be directed to Shiloh Hills Missionary Baptist Church in St. Paul. It is my understanding that they do not have financial needs at this point, but a letter expressing your support and prayer might mean a lot. The snail mail address is : 501 West Lawson AvenueSt. Paul, Minnesota 55117; the email is at the weblink.

And now for the general information about driving while armed:

I have a concealed carry permit. Any time you see me out in the world, it's a sure bet I am carrying a loaded firearm on  my person. Why? Because I want to! I ALWAYS am in compliance with applicable federal and state law. 

I also have, from time to time, conditions permitting,  a tendency to exceed the speed limit. In addition, up until about a year ago, I drove a raggedy old truck with the rear windows duck-taped in and tail-lights that took a lot of maintenance. Consequently, on at least seven occasions in at least four jurisdictions over the last six years, I have been pulled over by the police, and in every case, here is what I do:

1. I roll down the driver's side window, and I stick BOTH empty hands out, in plain sight. As the police officer approaches my car, as soon as I'm sure he can hear me, I state "Officer, I have a concealed carry permit, and I have a 9 mm on my hip and a .380 in the glove compartment."  (Or a .38 special in my pocket, or a 1911 in a shoulder holster; you get the idea.)

2. I then SHUT UP, and await further instruction; and, I am holding both hands in plain sight at all times.

Sometimes, they just tell me to leave my firearm where it is. Sometimes, they ask if they can place my firearm in their vehicle for safety while we talk. Sometime they ask me to step out; other times, to stay in the vehicle. I have never gotten an unreasonable request, and I'm always compliant.

I'm a big guy, with long hair, and a beard, AND A GUN, but I do my best to make that cop NOT see me as a threat. Does it work?

Well, I haven't been shot YET. That doesn't mean I won't get shot tomorrow, but it's worked, to this point. Therefore, I can suggest this to you as a plan of action, should you find yourself in similar circumstances. This much, EVERYONE can, and I feel should do.

Frankly, it aggravates my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock GA, that in addition to not getting shot, I haven't gotten a ticket, either. She's not sure if I'm given a pass for my firearm compliance, or for Driving While White And Married To A Foxy Black Woman, but it doesn't really matter; it ticks her off. That's okay with me; living bland is not my idea of a fun time.

Peace be on your household.




Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fathers' Day Meditation: How the Curse Was Vanquished

Growing up ain't easy for nobody. Didn't you ever wonder why Tom and Sid Sawyer were being raised by Aunt Becky?
So, I'm not trying to say my sneaky passage into adulthood was any better or worse than anybody else I know. I just know it had all the bad stuff I wanted, thank you very much. Plenty of good stuff! Yes indeed! But my older sister and I were unique on that little dirt road in Macon, GA, in the early 1950's because we were the only kids living with a single mom.
However, we were ASTOUNDINGLY fortunate to be living in one side of a rental duplex right next door to the house where my mom grew up, and where my grandmother and grandfather still lived. So, when my mom went to work, my sister and I went next door, and that's how childcare worked in the country in Georgia in the early/mid 50s.
And therefore, the only father I had, to speak of, for the first five years of my life was my grandfather, William (Bill) Jordan Paulette. He worked for the railroad, and delivered the mail, and was a Primitive Baptist preacher. He took me fishing, and to baseball games held at Luther Williams field at Central City Park. He told me stories, and sang ridiculous songs. We sat on the porch in the hot summer evenings (this was LONG before air conditioning). He could only tolerate me swinging with him for a short time, because I wanted to go HIGH! and he just wanted to relax. But he WOULD tolerate that short time.
My biological father wasn't ENTIRELY removed from my life. He lived in faraway Atlanta, and I believe the arrangements were that he got to take my sister and I for one weekend, every two months; two weeks in the summer, and every other Christmas. I don't remember much about those visits.
In 1959, my mother married again, and for the first time in my life, I had a live-in father figure. It was great! At first. Then, not so much, for the next many, many years.
Also in 1959, my father remarried, and with the new bride came stability: a house in the suburbs, two new little brothers. I got to know my father in a little more depth. It was not a very successful relationship.
But, as an adult, you have obligations. So, every Fathers' Day, I'd buy three cards. One went to my grandfather; it was the most expensive, sentimental card I could find. The other two went to my bio-father and step-father, and were just as plain and simple as could be.
In 1975, my grandfather died while I was in the Army, stationed in Germany. Tore me to pieces. A few months after that, it was Fathers' Day again; I went to the PX, and looked at the card offerings, and thought, "I only have to buy two this year." I guess I bought them. I guess I bought other cards for other years. And sometimes, I used the occasion to try to make an approach. I remember one card said "A father is someone who a son always looks up to, no matter how tall he gets." That one made me want to throw up a little bit, but I sent it.
But, essentially for me, after 1975, Fathers' Day was over. I resented the fact that it was on the calendar. I wondered if there might be a niche for "Toxic Greeting Cards: When You Really Want Them To Know What You Think Of Them." I drew sample cards out in my head, when Fathers' Day came around.
One said "Father, All that I have accomplished, All that I am, All the wealth I have accumulated: None of it is due to you!"
There was one that said : "Fathers' Day! : Just think of all you threw away!"
And it seem like there was another one that said something like "Because it's Fathers' Day, I have to get you a card: This is it."

Even when I had kids of my own, I still hated Fathers' Day. In fact, I didn't like ANY holiday. That wasn't due to any religious belief; I didn't like Fathers' Day because I didn't have a good impression of fathers (with some GREAT exceptions!) I didn't like Christmas because we spent most of our adult life making it on one income, and didn't have much money to spend on Christmas presents. And I didn't want my birthday noted, because I didn't want MY kids to feel compelled to give me something, just because.

Yes, I WAS known as the Grinch.

(Parenthetical note: in the last days, both my bio father and my stepfather reached out to me in very authentic ways, and we forgave each other for the bad. It was greatly healing. Didn't save the holiday, though.)

But: I'm a little bit okay, now. A little bit. How did that happen?

In 2011, I married my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA. And so, at age 58, I found myself a father again, this time to a 5 year old girl, and a 6 year old boy. They were Vanessa's grandchildren, and we are raising them.

Vanessa already knew I didn't like holidays, because I told her.
Actually, Christmas was redeemed, but that's another story.
She fussed at me about not liking my birthday.
BUT! When Fathers' Day came around, and I was starting to make noises about not wanting any observation, she put her fists on her hips, and spoke energetically to me.

"You listen to me!" One hand comes off her hip. A finger extends from the fist, and waves under my nose. "You are going to shut your mouth, and you are going to let those children give you presents for Fathers' Day! This doesn't have anything to do about what you like and what you don't like. This is for Kenneth and Alicia, and you ARE going to accept whatever they give you, and you are going to appreciate it! Do I make myself clear?" 

The finger withdrew into the fist. The fist remained alarmingly close to my nose. I could read the message without glasses.

"Okay, dear, I get your point. I'll be good."

And so, now it's okay. It's not that I look forward to it or anything, but I DO so appreciate the lovely messages I get on Fathers' Day. I boast "I have 10 children and 11 grandchildren, and number 12 will be here next month!"

And the ONLY purpose that the memories of the old pain and resentment serve, is to remind me that I don't have them any more.

Peace be on your house, and Happy Fathers' Day!


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Melon-Baller Blues

Remember the first time you used a melon baller?
Magic, wasn't it?
Those long summer afternoons, curled up with an assortment of fruit.
Melon ballers, and a cool glass of water by your side.
Using the big ones for watermelon, cantaloupe, pumpkin.
The medium size melon baller for calabash, sponge guard, and yellow squash.
And the day when you finally graduated to the miniature, jewel like elegance of making melon balls with the smallest baller; a platter-necklace of peach, strawberry, apple, and walnut, and the delicate traceries of blue agave.
Dipping the melon ballers in the cold water to rinse between each fruit, until finally, you had the utmost in organic drinks: God's fresh spring water, lightly kissed by the fragrance of cucumber, lime, and snake gourd!

Those sweet, long afternoons, working out in the orchard.
Playfully interacting with those mischievous hornets! Oh, how they loved to sway and dance with you!
Will we ever see days like that again?

It's really SUCH a personal experience. I don't recall seeing anyone, not Mark Twain, not Flannery O'Connor, nor even Stephen King risk exposing this fundamental aspect of character formation in our personal iteration between Ice Ages. You won't hear a word about melon balling from Bruce Willis, Leslie Uggams, Robert DeNiro,  Peggy Lee or even Denzel Washington. I understand that. Everyone has a right to keep their most precious memories safe in a vault, to draw on in times of need.

But today, as I melon balled this cantaloupe, I remembered. It was a sweet moment for me.

And I hope it was for you.

Peace be on your home.

Monday, June 12, 2017

How DaddyBear Rescued Me From the Dentist


And my book review is found here.

I have numerous reasons for loving DaddyBear the Minivandian and his crew: they are funny, heroic, silly, and real. The stories range from flatly ridiculous negotiations with a maple tree to stay out of the septic tank, to classically formed tales of the struggle between the Bad Guys and the Good Guys. This particular book, by the way, combines all of that. Here's how:
The ancient & wise terrapin storyteller gives  young Elsked, the son of DaddyBear and Ruarin, the backstory of his family. This provides the epic part of the book. In exchange, however, he demands that Elsked tell HIM stories as well. And so, the lad relates the things he knows about, and these are the sweet and delicious nuggets about flying dogs, etc. It's a nice, long compilation, and I can see this as being done very nicely as a book reading before a fire on long winter nights, with big-eyed children sipping hot chocolate, as Papa turns the pages and adds expression to his voice to   make the characters come alive.
Doubt that would work, but it's a nice image, isn't it?
So, those are the CONVENTIONAL reasons I love this book. Great story, stories-within-a-story, resolution of things I wondered about, and so forth. For this particular book, though, I have an additional and highly personal reason for my affection.
A million years ago, it seems, I started having really bad toothaches, which were to be expected, since due to some medical stuff, my teeth are all broken to pieces. So, partway through the million years, and as soon as possible, I got an appointment with the dentist, and she agreed to take me on an emergency basis. And shortly thereafter, I found myself hyperventilating in the dentist's chair, waiting on her to rip the crumbling chalk out of my jaw (one from the top jaw, one from the bottom). And, to help me get through the ordeal, I had this book on my Kindle reading app. So, I read about DaddyBear and Elsked killing the snow monsters, and it helped, it really did, to sooth my anxiety. (When the actual ripping-from-the-living-jaw part started, I turned to a podcast on military history.)
Wasn't done yet.
Later on in the million years, I realized I was still hurting more than should be expected, and had to return to the dentist to have...no, it's just too horrible. I can't describe the experience. It would cause you to have ugly children.
Anyway, I again read about the adventures of Elsked and his family and the terrapin. And it helped.
By the way, the million years looked like one week to everybody else. To me, between the pain and the goofed head, it was a million years. And that wasn't helped by the diet Dr. Akbar stipulated: only soft and cold food.
So, lots of yogurt & banana smoothies, with vanilla protein powder. It's really a great exchange for a meal; for ONE meal, that is. For a regular diet, not so much. Soft and cold does NOT describe the French Fries everyone else was munching last Friday.
And then I made a WONDERFUL discovery on Saturday night! Do you know what ELSE is soft and cold, besides yogurt and banana smoothies?
HAM FAT!!!!
And I had a big honken ham in the refrigerator, $2.49 per pound, because it's a whole shoulder, not a half shoulder! I took that 95 pound (I exaggerate) ham out of the fridge, got a knife and a Tupperware container, and I carved off my dinner!
Yes, it WAS delicious!

And, with the pain easing, and my hunger temporarily abated, I was able to return to my reading again. And last night, I read about "The Derby of the Wooden Chargers," and snickered, and hoped I didn't wake up my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA. You see, I am personally familiar with this event in our mundane world. It's called the Pinewood Derby, and it's something Cub Scouts do. In the story, Elsked negotiates with the ancient maple tree for a branch, then carves out a horse and rider. In real life, the boys are given a wooden block, and a bag of hardware. In BOTH worlds, there are rules. The racer must be under a certain weight; the majority of the work is to be done by the  Scout, etc. Elsked crafts a magnificent horse and rider, which are magically imbued with the ability to move, and despite a wonderful race, he comes in second. In REAL world, my son the Moose painted his block green. That's it. No attempt at customization, just enough wood shaved off to get it down to the prescribed weight; just a green block. And he came in second, too! It was delightful. I think him standing there at the awards ceremony with his ugly green stick and a big smile, while the first and third place winners had these ultra wind-tunnel hyper-realistic flame-painted monsters, was THE best part of the experience of scouting for the Patterson Boys.

And, dear friends, I apologize again for the hiatus in reading and reviewing this past week. It was unavoidable; the pain made me unable to concentrate; when I took the pain meds, THEY made me unable to concentrate. Hopefully, I'm back on track!
Peace be on your household!

Friday, June 9, 2017

No, I Am NOT Okay. Continue The Mission!

Gonna try to get this down before the meds kick in and I fall asleep. Or whatever.

The dental hygienist said to me, "Are you okay?"
And I turned to look at her with amazement and said, "Are you crazy? She's stabbing me in the mouth with a needle!"

Today is Friday. I had two teeth extracted on Monday: one from my top jaw, left side, the other from the bottom jaw, also left side. I've had double extractions before, and I just don't remember it hurting this bad, for this long. So, I called the dentist today, and she told me to come in and she would look at it, and she said it sounded like I had a dry socket.
Doesn't sound bad, does it? Hey, the socket is dry, just squirt it with some WD40 or Rem Oil or a light coat of LSA, whatever, and tootle on down the road!

Oh, nay, nay. That is NOT what they do. First she shot my poor jaw full of novocain, then she grabbed a...

...I don't know WHAT she grabbed. I think it had a diesel-electric motor.

And she JABBED and SCRAPED

and SCRAPED

and SCRAPED on my jaw, until the people below us in the restaurant downstairs started to bang on the ceiling, asking us to keep the noise down.

And, rather than add to the ruckus by screaming like a little girl  big boy grown man in a dentist's chair, I just grabbed the fabric of my jeans and squeezed.

Which is when the hygienist asked "Are you okay?"

Well, shortly after that, it was over. And I commented to the sweet little hygienist, bless her heart, that I hadn't meant to be rude, but that I was hurting like the dickens because the doctor was scraping my jawbone so I would bleed and not get a dry socket any more.

(And we also talked about the fact that NOTHING pleasant ever follows the instruction "try to relax." Nobody ever says "try to relax" just before they kiss you, for example. Unless vampires do that.)

Now, if you have known me for any significant period of time, you know that I have a chronic pain condition. It was a great relief to me when I was diagnosed with it 12 years ago, because I was wondering if this was just the way things were for everybody, and I was just a wimp. As it turns out, no, that's not the case. I have ankylosing spondylitis, due to my genetic inheritance from my Neanderthal ancestors. There have been several manifestations of this among the men in my family; we just have to learn to make the necessary accommodations, and to fight back whenever possible.

In fact, I started a new counter-attack last January 29, when I hung my cane up on the wall of my man-cave, and bought a FitBit, and started walking every day. And yes, it's going great! Just had my blood checked today, so the doc can see if he needs to adjust my blood pressure and diabetic medication yet.

But! I'm NOT okay. I am, however, continuing the mission.

This was tough for my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock, GA to accept, in the very early stages of our relationship. From time to time, I'll get a stabbing pain in my back, just because, and I wince. She'd see me do that, and say "Are you okay?"

"No," I'd reply. "I'm not okay. I'm hurting, but that's all."

And eventually, I was able to get her to realize that it WAS just pain. It's not going to kill me, but neither is it going to go away. And I hope, hope, hope that through the six years of living with me, she has seen how this thing is dealt with, because recently she received her own little bit of an explanation for her painful joints. Seems she has either rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, and they aren't sure which, but it's one of those diseases in that cluster. And it's not okay.

But that's not the point, really, is it? She and I are a devoted married couple. We are parents. We are grandparents. We do things for other people. We get paychecks. We love God, and serve Him, and we are determined to become sweet old people. (Already there, actually: she's sweet, and I'm old. Her words, not mine!)

None of that depends on ANYBODY being okay, if okay means 'free of defect' and 'functioning as designed.' Instead, it all depends on our determination to continue our mission. That's the part that's important.

"Are you okay?"
"No."
"Can you get pizza on the way home?"
"Yes."
That's what matters for hungry children. And so, despite the fact that we are not okay, we continue the mission, get the pizza, and then go to bed when we get the opportunity.

And we even have a cute saying we can use! When I was in the Army, they taught me the phonetic alphabet. The phonetic spelling of the phrase "Continue the Mission" is "Charlie Mike." Isn't that sweet? I'm gonna start saying that. I may alternate it with a core-value phrase I used constantly, during one of the roughest times of my life: "I am yet holding on." And maybe I'll use them both:

"How are ya doin'?"
"I am yet holding on. Charlie Mike."

Peace on your household.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Renegade, then and now

I got a note from John Kay yesterday.

In case that name isn't familiar to you, he created and lead the group Steppenwolf, which was a dominant force in rock in the late 60's and early 70s.  I was a huge fan back then. I remember dancing to the albums with my eyes closed. Couldn't have been a pretty sight.

They were unconventional even for the time. Two of their biggest hits were anti-hard drug songs penned by Hoyt Axton: “The Pusher” and “Snow Blind Friend.”

And then, in 1970,  'Renegade.' 

It tells John Kay's story. He was born in Tilsit, along the Baltic Coast in 1944. The area had been annexed by the Nazis in 1939; when that regime was collapsing, with the Red Army rolling in, infant John and his mother were two of the thousands of refugees who fled to the west. Unfortunately for them, they landed in what later became East Germany, in Arnstadt, and had to run again, escaping to West Germany in 1948.

The first two verses (transcribed here in paragraph form) tell the story:

My birthplace would be hard to find; it changed so many times, I'm not sure where it belongs. But they tell me the Baltic coast is full of amber, and the land was green before the tanks came. One day I learned just how it used to be: the devil's curse brought the whole world to its' knees.
And it was "Hey you, keep your head down, don't you look around, please don't make a sound! If they should find you now the Man will shoot you down."

It's a mighty long way out of the darkness to where the sun is free to shine. Well, the truck came by to put us in the back, and left us where the railroad tracks cross the line. Then the border guide took us by the hand, and led us through the hole into the promised land beyond. And I can hear him now, whispering soft and low, "When you get to the other side just you run like hell!”
"Hey you, keep your head down, don't you look around, please don't make a sound! If they should find you now the Man will shoot you down."

As a boy in Hanover, West Germany, he learned about rock and roll, listening to the British Forces Broadcasting Service before moving to Canada at age 14. In 1967, at age 23, he and his band moved to California, and became Steppenwolf. They achieved commercial success; two of their songs 'Born to be Wild' and 'The Pusher' featured in the 1969 movie 'Easy Rider.' They appeared with the Doors, the Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Canned Heat, and many other headliners of the era. So, a happy ending, right? Well, mostly, but:

But for the young man who had literally risked his life to escape to freedom, TWICE, the violent politics of the time was sickening. Those of us who were sentient at the time remember the cities burning; the assassinations of King and Kennedy; the protesters brawling with the cops at the Democratic National Convention, while the crowds chanted “The whole world is watching, the whole world is watching.”

He must have thought we had lost our minds. And he wrote a third verse to his song:

I thought I had a quiet place where I could learn how to catch my childhood dreams; but on my left and to my right they keep on shouting, while I'm just stuck here in between. Lord! I'm tired of running and I don't believe I can; I can hear them calling time and time again: 
And it's "Hey you, keep your head down, don't you look around, please don't make a sound! If they should find you now the Man will shoot you down."

Now, on this lovely spring day in Georgia in 2017, I don't THINK we are in the same place that we were in 1968. But I think it's just a matter of intensity. The division between people is every bit as deep as it was when John Kay wrote this song about his experiences. So, the responsibility is mine to teach my children what is important, and what we have to lose.

So, on weekday mornings, my 12 year old Kenneth and I spend an hour before school, studying the ancient wisdom in Proverbs, and discussing how those apply to our lives today. After setting an example by the way I live, it's the most important thing I do.  And one day last week, I started by printing him a copy of the lyrics so he could read along as he listened to the song. I showed him on our world map where the Baltic is, and about where Arnstadt is, to bring him closer to the story. I told him about my own experience in the Army in Germany, crossing over through Checkpoints Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie, to go from West Germany into West Berlin and East Berlin. I told him about the Berlin Airlift. And I showed him pictures of the Berlin Wall, and how it finally came down.

John Kay's story had an impact on my boy. I could tell by the questions he asked; his nephew Trey is a bit older than Kay was the first time had to run; his nephew Heath is the age Kay was when they finally reached West Germany.

And then I applied the lesson of the third verse to his life. “Kenneth, today and for the rest of your life, you are going to have people on the left and on the right shouting at you, and you are going to be stuck in between. Don't give up! You find the truth, and you hold on to it. It won't be easy, but it's worth fighting for. And you can help to make this world a place where mothers never have to run away with their little boys, in the freezing cold, just so they can be safe.”

 He got it. (I love it when it works.)

And then, riding the crest of the wave of a successful Teachable Moment, I wrote a few lines about that morning's experience; and I submitted them to the 'CONTACT' link on the Steppenwolf website. I didn't really expect anything in particular; it's just that I owed a debt of thanks, and I wanted to do my best to pay it back. And I went about my day.

Until yesterday, when I get an email out of the blue:

Pat, I've forwarded your email to John Kay and here is his response:  "Please tell Papa Pat that I found his note and what he does, very rewarding as a song writer. But I also found it quite moving. I will keep his note as a reminder that music can make a difference in our lives".

WOW. Naturally, I responded, and they responded to that, and then, out of the blue, I'm given four tickets to a Steppenwolf concert this summer near Atlanta.

What's our takeaway?

Well, it's not 'honor rock and roll musicians.' John Kay is just this guy, right? Incredibly talented, true, but mostly he finds purpose in his family, and their foundation supporting human rights and protection of wildlife and the environment.
I THINK the takeaway, for me at least, is don't miss an opportunity to say 'thank you.'  You never know who it might bless.

And if you wind up with tickets to a rock concert, that's gravy!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Left Overs

Is it true that anything you make with noodles is better as leftovers?

Here's what I made last night, and today for lunch it was truly wonderful:

Lackadaisical Prep:
I made a marinade sauce with honey, garlic salt, mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, corn starch and water, and smurfed all up together in a tupperware marinating container. I don't know how much of each ingredient I used; I knew I wanted the honey and mustard flavors to come through, and I added things by taste.

I skinned, boned, and sliced two chicken breasts and two chicken thighs into tiny little pieces, and dumped them in the marinade. I froze them slightly before hand, to make them easier to slice.
I sliced up a red bell pepper and a yellow bell pepper and dumped them in the marinade. These were just on hand. I don't buy this sort of thing; someone was attracted by how pretty they were, and they were in my way, so they got selected to add color to the meal.
I steamed a pound of broccoli florets and dumped them in the marinade.

I closed the container, shook the bejabbers out of it to get everything mixed up and coated, and put it in the fridge for an hour and a half. That was based on the fact that dinner was at 6, and I started prep at 4. If I had started earlier or later, the marinade time would have changed.

Made four packets of ramen noodles, using only two of the chicken flavor packets, and set aside.

Fried four large slices of hog jowl to get the bacon drippings, as well as giving me something to munch on while cooking.

I was skeptical that the amount of bacon was going to give me enough to stir fry with, so I added about the same amount of olive oil.

In three portions, I stir fried the contents of the marinade container, between 5 and 10 minutes per portion. I cooked until the chicken was done. I scooped out the cooked chicken and vegetables with a slotted spoon, so the marinade got added to the bacon drippings and olive oil as time went on. I dumped the cooked chicken and vegetables over the ramen noodles.

With the last portion, I poured most of the accumulated marinade over the noodles along with the chicken and vegetables.

I set the bowl with the noodles and stir fry on the table, announced "FOOD IS READY" and walked out of the house, drove to Waffle House, and ate a cheeseburger. I was mad about something, and you don't need to know what it was. I just didn't want to be around people for a while. So, my rebellious act consisted of drinking coffee with my double quarter cheese plate, scattered and smothered. (It was an act of rebellion because my doc took me off caffeine.)

By the time I returned to the house, I wasn't mad any more. Much of the Honey Mustard chicken pepper stir fry had been eaten. However, there was plenty left for my lunch today.

It really was delicious!